Life, Art in Collision

We all remember when I wasted everyone's time and patience with a too long discourse on a group of Roman criminals from thirty years ago, don't we? Yes, it's happening again. 

One of the main characters in that book and TV show is Il Dandi, one of the leaders of the criminal gang which ran Rome for a decade or two. The character is based on Enrico De Pedis, his real-life equivalent. His is one of the more interesting stories of that time, and exemplifies perfectly what the band grew into from their very humble, indeed banal beginnings. After De Pedis' murder, he was granted burial in a basilica in central Rome on special order from a Cardinal of the Catholic Church (can you imagine the diversity in his phone book?). Another example of his high status and respectability, earned in however dubious ways, is the fact that he stole away from contemporary Lazio star Bruno Giordano his girlfriend at the time. Sure, he only played in Lazio, but footballers are kings in Italy. And this is where life and art starts to cross over boundaries and morph into the territory of amusing anecdotes: Alessandro Roja (on the right), the actor playing Il Dandi in the tv show Romanzo Criminale is as of last week engaged to marry Claudio Ranieri's daughter Claudia.